Miami - World No 1 Dustin Johnson has the hottest hand in
golf and will need to keep that form heading into Wednesday's WGC-Dell Match
Play tournament after being grouped with a trio of major champions.
Johnson, who has won on his last two starts, has been placed
in a group with PGA Championship title holder Jimmy Walker, twice major
winner Martin Kaymer and former US Open champion Webb Simpson.
They represent one of 16 four-player groups that will play
round-robin matches from Wednesday through Friday at the Austin Country Club
with the winners of each group advancing to a single-elimination bracket at the
"I've got a lot of confidence in the game,"
Johnson. "I feel like I'm controlling my ball very well and I feel I’m
starting to drive a little straighter."
Defending champion Jason Day and Marc Leishman, fresh off a
victory at Bay Hill, are the two Australians in the event and they have been
grouped with England's Lee Westwood and American Pat Perez.
The winner of their group will face one of Phil Mickelson,
JB Holmes, Daniel Berger or South Korean Kim Si-woo.
"When it comes time to play match play you've just got
to go out and try and beat them," said world No 3 Day. "You're not
really friends for 18 holes and then when you get off the course you're back to
Rory McIlroy, who lost to Day in last year's semi-final but
replaced the Australian as world No 2 this week, has been impressive since
returning from a rib injury, finishing in a tie for seventh and share of fourth
in his last two tournaments.
The 27-year-old Northern Irishman is grouped with Argentine
Emiliano Grillo, American Gary Woodland and Dane Soren Kjeldsen.
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama has one of the most difficult draws
as he will face South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, who is 13-3 in this event over
the last three years, veteran American Jim Furyk and Britain's Ross Fisher, who
tied for third at the WGC-Mexico.
Should Matsuyama advance from the group stage, he could face
twice US Masters winner Bubba Watson in the round of 16, twice major winner and
former world No 1 Jordan Spieth in the quarter-finals and Johnson in the semi-finals.
With only two weeks to go until the Masters, only four of
the world's top 50 golfers have opted to skip this event to prioritise their
preparations for the year's first major.